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Derek Vernon-morris (Greater Manchester UK)
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Pretty Woman (15th Anniversary Special Edition) [DVD] [1990]
Pretty Woman (15th Anniversary Special Edition) [DVD] [1990]
Dvd ~ Richard Gere
Price: £3.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Woman (15th Anniversary Special Edition) (DVD), 17 Oct. 2011
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Roy Orbison's song Pretty Woman is inseparable from this film, and summarises it exactly, but one has to wait until half way through the film, for the complete version, as the streetwise girl is transformed into an elegant lady.
Julia Roberts has the beauty and talent to make her character Vivian Ward very real; and Richard Gere gives a convincing performance of the money obsessed billionaire Edward Lewis, who is humanised again through his efforts to turn a hooker into a lady, treating his partner and lawyer Philip Stuckey (Ralph Bellamy) very badly because he can not keep pace with his change of heart.
The Film shows intentionally the hipocracy and also the desirability of protocol. The same woman is looked upon with distaste in expensive hotels and stores in streetwise clothes, but ogled and treated like an object of desire and with respect, when wearing high fashion. (It is not the goods, but how you wrap them which makes the difference, in this case wardrobe by Cerruti of Paris )
It would be an outrage of respectability for her to stay in a millionaire's suite as a paid escort, but acceptable as a 'relative' in this case as his niece.
There is compassion beneath the stern exterior of propriety and efficiency, and the hotel manager played by Hector Elizondo, instructs and helps the girl with etiquette and dress sense.
There is an undercurrent of humour also, such as when Vivian squeezes her snail tongues too hard at a dinner, and propells the creature across the room to be caught expertly by a waiter.
Laura Giacomo provides some sad humour as the drug addicted friend of Vivian, Kit De Luca, still in the clutches of a pimp and his organisation.
After misunderstandings Edward encouraged by the hotel manager, travells standing through the sun roof of the limo to Vivian's appartment, and overcomes his fear of heights by climbing the fire escape to propose.
Another high flying feature of the production is the Orchestra conducted by Jazz orientated Marty Paich, who worked with such artists as Mel Torme and Peggy Lee.
There is no 15th Anniversary booklet, and it is only a one disc set, but there is a new audio commentary by Director Gary Marshall, and a track 'Wild Woman Do' by Natalie Cole, plus Featurettes, in the Special Features. The Dolby 5.1 sound is good, and the picture quality beautiful. The language options are English and French, with subtitle options in English and Dutch.


The Very Best of  Chinese Music
The Very Best of Chinese Music
Price: £7.99

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The very best of Chinese Music (CD), 17 Oct. 2011
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This is a very atmospheric recording by contemporary musicians from various regions of China. Many of the musicians are instructors, for example the Soprano Wei Li lectures in music and drama at London University, and I was a little disappointed that there were not more vocal tracks on the album, but the last track is a lovely song, Beautiful Nandu River.
Award winning Xu Pingxin is one of the first people to hold a Masters Degree in 'yang-qi'(dulcimer)performance, and is represented here by a Cantonese tune; Raindrops beating on Banana Leaves.
Two tracks by the Hanshin Chinese Folk and Dance Ensemble founded in 1991 feature well known tunes from Taiwan; a very rythmical Ballad of Four Seasons, and Spring Dawn at Yang Ming Mountain, derived from Folk Dance music.
Very haunting lute music is featured on a track by Miao Xiaoyun; Sound from Afar.
A lovely peaceful melody, Liang Xiao composed at New Year 1927 is played on the xiao (long lute), by Heart of Dragon Ensemble, a UK based group who also play Little Boat, a dulcimer track which evokes a very picturesque scene.
Prize winning Zhou Yu & Ensemle present a erhu (violin) track; Song of the Heart.
Another UK based musician from Beijing Cheng Yu, performs with the London Chinese Orchestra featuring the pipa (pear shaped lute) and drums on; Water Flowing from High Mountain.
After gaduating from Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Chen Dacan became interested in Chinese Religious Music (Taoist and Buddist),and studied extensively in France before settling in the UK as leader of the London Chinese Orchestra. Here he plays another evocative melody; Spring Water Reflects the Moon.

This Audio CD comes with an attractive booklet of notes in English German and French. The music has great Universal appeal as is the case with much Folk and Traditional music around the world, and the inspiration drawn from natural surroundings, as many of these songs do, can be related to an everyday experience. It is alive.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2012 8:21 AM BST


The Proposal [DVD]
The Proposal [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sandra Bullock
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.52

5.0 out of 5 stars The Proposal (DVD) Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds, 16 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: The Proposal [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very enjoyable film with Sandra Bullock playing Margaret Tate, running a slick Editorial department in a large Publishing company. Ryan Reynolds plays Andrew Paston, her slightly immature young assistant, who is a complete corporate 'yes man' in the hope that he will have his own manuscripts published.
Margaret who is a Canadian, faces deportation when her visa renewal is refused, and takes advantage of Andrew's complete compliance, telling the Company boss, Chairman Bergen, (Michael Nouri) that she and Andrew are getting married. This will give her USA citizenship and allow her to continue in her domineering role.
Andrew even agrees to this on condition that she makes him an Editor. It will only be a convenience, and they can apply for early divorce.
What they do not count on, is actually falling, or realising that they are in love, in the process of convincing the Immigration Officer, and Andrew's family, that the marriage Proposal is genuine.
Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock are a perfect foil to each other, and deliver the plot with sometimes surprising but characteristic hillarity.
During the weekend in Alaska the power balance is reversed, as Margaret discovers Andrew is the son of a millionaire Joe Paston, played aggressively by Craig T Nelson, who practically owns and runs his home town.
Mary Steenburgen is beautifully cast as Andrew's concerned Mother, Grace, and Betty White as his wily Grandmother Annie about to celebrate her 90th Birthday.
Dennis O'Hare plays Mr Gilbertson, the Immigration officer who turns out to be a friend of Joe who at first does not approve of the Proposal, and Oscar Nunez adds more comedy as Ramone, a waiter cum storekeeper cum erotic dancer.
The sound is excellent 5.1, as is the picture quality. There are alternative endings in the special features, audio commentaries with Director Anne Fletcher, and deleted scenes.
There is the usual choice of dubbed languages, plus 8 subtitle languages in this delightful, generally feel good film.


The Odd Couple [DVD] [1968] [1967]
The Odd Couple [DVD] [1968] [1967]
Dvd ~ Jack Lemmon
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £15.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Odd Couple (DVD) (1967) Lemmon/Matthau, 28 Sept. 2011
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The film starts off with great humour as Felix (Jack Lemmon) makes various unsuccessful attempts to commit suicide, after separating from his wife. He only succeeds in inflicting minor injuries upon himself.
A group of friends (an all star cast) during their Friday night Poker game try preventing him from pursuing the idea further, whilst pretending that everything is normal. They all meet at the appartment of happily divorced Oscar (Walter Matthau), and their attempts produce hillarious results.
Oscar is pleased to accomodate Felix whilst he adjusts to his new single status, but soon regrets it when Felix turns into a fastidious 'housewife'; cleaning, cooking and spraying air freshners around the appartment. He serves the friends at the Poker evening with drinks and freshly made snacks, making them use coasters and napkins, and deodorises their cigar smoke. They eventually all leave saying 'Poker should NEVER be played like this.' He even calls Sports Commentator Oscar, at work to ask what he wants for dinner, ruining his concentration.
The crowning exasperation occurs when Oscar sets up a romantic evening with two attractive English divorced sisters living in the same block. Felix burns his meat loaf and the sisters sympathise, turning the occasion into a tearful evening of memories. The film comedy also seems to slide into sentimentality after this.
Felix moves in with the sisters, Oscar reinstates his Batchelor untidyness, and the Poker evenings resume. Vintage comedy which now seems slightly weary.
The film is directed by Gene Saks, with screenplay by Neil Simon. The music by Neal Hefti is understated, but the overall sound and picture quality is good.


Hereafter - Double Play (DVD + Blu-ray)
Hereafter - Double Play (DVD + Blu-ray)
Dvd ~ Matt Damon
Offered by Revolution Media
Price: £9.21

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hereafter - Double Play (DVD+Blu-ray) Matt Damon, 24 Sept. 2011
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Very moving would be one of the best epithets for this film, Produced and Directed by Clint Eastwood, who is now respected for his Directing integrity as much as an Actor. His ethic according to commentaries in Special Features is to enjoy every minute of the production. Surpringly some of the action was filmed in the enormous water tanks at the Pinewood Studios in England.

Cecile de France, plays Marie, a top ranking French Journalist on holiday with her boss/partner, when she is the victim of a tsaumi, overtaken by a tidal wave sweeping the resort, as she shops for gifts, for her partner's kids. She has a death experience before being revived, which haunts her, and leads her to write a book about it, but publishing is difficult.

Matt Damon plays George, who has a psychic gift, and works now as a fork lift driver, to avoid his former publicity, and the attempts of his brother to exploit him. After being made redundant, he travells to London, to visit the Museum Home of Charles Dickens, his favourite Author.

Here the third member of the trio involved with paranormal psychic activity, is Marcus, a London Twin who loses his brother Jason in a road accident, and who is in foster care because their Mother is an alcoholic. The twins are played by Frankie and George McLaren, excellently. Jason has apparently saved Marcos from a bomb blast in the London Underground, like a guardian spirit, by causing him to miss a train. The film cleverly explores the many avenues of possible fake and genuine Psychic and Spiritual involvement, as Marcus searches for someone to reunite him with his twin in the afterlife.

All from diferent walks of life they converge at a London Book Fair where Marie is signing her new Book, entitled 'Hereafter'. Derek Jacobi, as himself is reading Dickens, and George goes to hear him, and also buys Marie's book, producing a psychic reflex, as they touch. At that moment Marcus who is visiting with his Foster Parents recognises George from an old website, and follows him to his hotel.
George finally agrees to a session, and sets his mind at rest so he can move on.
Clever Marcus locates Marie's hotel for George, and they meet, possibly happy ever after, and probably Hereafter.

Matt Damon plays this part with great sensitivity, and Cecile de France portays a once successful public figure now an embarrassment struggling to get back on track, with harrowing realism; and the Twin boys appear to be incredibly accomplished and intelligent actors.
Both discs have excellent quality, but only the ordinary DVD, contains the Special Features, and Commentaries.
A haunting piano theme accompanies a lot of the action. The subject matter is not ground breaking, and it certainly is not a horror film, though it deals with situations which are horrific, but it is so thoughtfully produced that this film is definitely not one to miss.


T&G 10 Pairs of Chopsticks Bamboo
T&G 10 Pairs of Chopsticks Bamboo
Offered by cookware company
Price: £2.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chopsticks in Bamboo x 10 Pairs (carded) size 265mm, 22 Sept. 2011
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Very good value. Each stick bears bronze Chinese Characters at the top. They are waxed and easy to wash and a very convenient size and weight to use.
They are packaged in quite a sturdy plastic sheath, which allows them to be kept together flat for storage in a drawer.
A very pleasent cream colouring is very stylish, and as yet, the tips have not been discoloured by any of the food, and they dry very quickly after washing.
Excellent, and very speedy delivery by Amazon too.


28 Days [DVD] [2000]
28 Days [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Sandra Bullock
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 Days (DVD) (2000) Sandra Bullock/Dominic West, 22 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: 28 Days [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This must be one Sandra Bullock's best film roles. It begins in a very hillarious way. She plays Gwen Cummings, a writer and fun loving, drinking, party and pill-popping clubber, with her English boy friend Jasper, played by Dominic West, and a boistrous group of friends.
They drink in the taxi, in the locomotive bar, and devastate her sister Lily's wedding, with Gwen finally falling all over the Wedding cake. This is all done in fine style with Sandra Bullock funny, sexy, and beautiful all at the same time. Is this going to be a film about one drunken excess upon another? No, after trying to shop for a new cake and crashing the Wedding Limo, Gwen is sentenced to 28 Days at a lakeside Rehab Centre.

The film takes on a serious undertone, exploring some of the characters in the centre, and in spite of Jasper's disruptive visits, and his proposal of marriage, Gwen finally accepts the therapy and the chance to 'dry herself out' and leave her old lifestyle. With help of counsellor Cornell (Steve Buscemi) she realises that she has the natural ability to help other people through their difficulties even after her 28 Days are over.

All the characters have an ammusing side, and there is a spoof Soap Opera 'Santa Cruz' within the film that the inmates watch. In the Illuminating Special Features there are interviews with all the cast and crew, and Director Betty Thomas. There are even instructions on how to make a 'gum wrapper' paper chain, which Gwen makes to ease her frustrations in rehab. They are allowed sweets and gum to stave off their cravings for other substances, as well as Horse therepy.

There is a choice of 17 different language subtitles, and a fast moving soundtack by Richard Gibbs. Very deservingly, Sandra Bullock was the highest paid American Actress of 2010.


Umbrellas Of Cherbourg: Special Edition [DVD] [1964]
Umbrellas Of Cherbourg: Special Edition [DVD] [1964]
Dvd ~ Catherine Deneuve

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Umberells of Cherbbourg Special edition (DVD), 21 Sept. 2011
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What a gem of pure enchantment this musical film is. Whatching this is an amazing experience. The colour is magical and enhanced, like a world looking in upon the real world, whilst also being very realisic.
The music is continous, and varied from Big Band Swing to lush Strings, and traditional Accordian arrangements. The classic score from Michel Legrand includes the classic theme 'I will wait for you'.
There is no spoken word, every bit of dialoge is sung in French.(subtitles are available).
From the new wave of film making in the 1960's this Jacques Demy film won the Palma d'Or at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.

Demy and Legrand collaborated for many years, and most of their films were produced on a low budget. It is sometimes called his trbute to Hollywood, and he was invited to make films there when Umberellas of Cherbourg was an international success, but it is not Hollywood, it is essentialy French.

Catherine Deneuve plays Genevieve Emery, a 17 year old working with her Mother in their Umbrella Shop. She is radiant and in love with Guy Foucher (Nino Castelnuovo) a young motor Mechanic, who lives with his ailing Aunt Elise, looked after by Madelline. Set in 1957, their romance is ended when Guy has to serve 2 years National Service,in the army fighting a war with Algeria. They make love and plan to marry on his return. Genevieve is pregnant, and short of money, her overbearing Mother persuades her to marry a rich Diamond Merchant Roland Cassard (Marc Michel), whom they meet when she is trying to sell a necklace at the Jewellers.

Guy returns to find the shop closed, and no word from Genevieve, but he is changed also, and whilst a slight leg injury heals, the film explores the problems of settling back to civillian life. He has his old job but unable to take orders with his former optimism and charm, he leaves it. When his Aunt dies round about 1960, he follows his dream with his legacy, and opens up a Petrol Station, finds new happiness and marries Madelline, with whom he has a son Francois. In 1963 Genevieve passes through Cherbourg with their daughter Francoise around Christmastime, a wealthy lady, in a black Mercedes, on her way back to Paris from Anjou but there is only a cold acceptance between them, like the winter weather. Life moves on.

On disc two there is a 90 minute documentary 'The world of Jacques Demy' including clips from some of his other works. Also a very charming short film 'L'Amerique Lunaire' with the music of Michel Legrand, plus Trailers, and an introduction by Geoff Andrew. All very informative and fascinating. Well worth the money, and I would rate it at 8 stars at least.


The Net [DVD] [1995]
The Net [DVD] [1995]
Dvd ~ Sandra Bullock
Offered by Revolution Media
Price: £5.36

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Net (DVD) (1995) Sandra Bullock/Jeremy Northam, 20 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: The Net [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Online Technology has increased since 1995, so perhaps the concept of this film appears less original, but it deals with the fears that personal identities are at risk, and can even be swapped and modified to actually leave a living person without an identity.
Sandra Bullock plays Angela Bennett, a freelance computer analyst, who works in collaboration with an organisation tracking viruses and hackers. She also contacts web users lightheartedly Internet dating,
some of whom disguise their identities with symbols.
A colleage sends data revealing a scam involving the FBI, which is so top secret he aims to fly out and meet her before she goes on a much needed holiday. Mysteriously the electronics on his plane encounter interference and he crashes.
At the end of her holiday, she is approached by a company executive (Jeremy Northam) who lures her onto his yatch, with the purpose of shooting her, and he reveals his Web identity repeating her lighthearted demands. After stunning him with a wine bottle, she discovers the Floppy Disc, which was stolen from her by muggers on the beach,(in his employ) and escapes in a small boat.

On returning home, she finds her house sold, none of her ID recognised,and her Mother a Dimensia patient, in danger. Her contacts do not recognise her, and she embarks upon a life and death chase to locate her identity and expose the plot to overthrow the FBI, and take over the Presidency of the USA.
The woman impersonating her has a criminal record, as does the mysterious millionaire.
The breathles chase finally ends at a Computer Fair when Angela is able to re-enter her own identity, notify the FBI, and with a final clever twist, as the ID hackers catch up with her and try to overide her messages with a special code, they unwittingly send a virus she has loaded, which deletes their own network.

There is less obvious comedy and glamour in this role, but Sandra Bullock is excellent and intense, as the woman fighting for her life, and ends on a happy note caring for her Mother, and with a new status, working from a new home.

Directed and Produced by Irwin Winkler the film has screen play by John Brancato and Michael Ferris. This version reissued in 2005 has excellent picure quality, and Dolby 5.1 Surround with a choice of six additional subtitle languages.


Forces Of Nature [DVD] [1999]
Forces Of Nature [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Sandra Bullock
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: £3.21

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forces of Nature (DVD) (1999) Sandra Bullock/Ben Affleck, 20 Sept. 2011
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The tongue in cheek action begins on Ben's (Played by Ben Affleck) Stag Night. Dancing with a stripper gives his Grandfather a heart attack, next his Best Man forgets the ring and Ben has to travel from New York to Savannah alone, but not quite--He happens to be sitting next to Sarah (Sandra Bullock)a hip chick. A seagull enters the jet engine, and the plane skids out of control even before take off, during the panic Sarah seems to think he has saved her life, and as there are no other immediate options available, he hitches a ride with her and a guy whose licence has expired. After an altercation with the Police, he is arrested for drug offences, and Ben and Sarah are held in custody also. It seems like fate conspires to prevent him making the deadline to his wedding.

At one point they stand on the top of a railway carriage to see the sunset, across a lake, and yes, they end up in the wrong half that is heading for Chicago. They pretend to be married, and Ben impersonates a Doctor when given a ride by a group of elderly travellers, and they have to moonlight to avoid paying at a Hotel.(where his best man catches up with him but leaves without him again) The bank catches fire where his Father has telegraphed money to, so Sarah offers her services as a table dancer at a club to make the fare, but they prefer Ben to dance.

All the time he is examining his true feelings and questioning other people, most of whom give him the downside of marriage, and Sarah is escaping an abusive relationship, and trying to reach her ten year old son.
Sandra Bullock's trademark comedy with periods of sensitive realism is evident through out, and Ben Affleck plays a quiet regular guy that things just keep happening to. Will he abandon his wedding and Stephany and shack up with Sarah ?
The final disaster is a hurricane when they do arrive just in time for the wedding and more hillarity. For anyone who has not seen this I will not reveal their final descisions, but true love conquers.

Directed by Bronwen Hughes, produced by Susan Arnold, Donna Roth, and Ian Bryce, with a great sound track by John Powell, and an all star supporting cast, this film is certainly one for the collection.


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